Airline Lufthansa introduced an onflight Wi-Fi broadband wireless Internet connection on its International flight from Munich to Los Angeles on Monday. The system, dubbed FlyNet, costs $10 for a half hour or $30 for the entire flight and lets passengers use the Internet connection for their own laptops or handheld PDA’s.
A study by Forrester Research reports that 38 per cent of frequent travellers are willing to pay at least $25 per flight for Internet access and, through this, access to their company networks. They estimate high-flying broadband services will to be worth $2 billion a year in 2014.
According to Lufthansa, the equipment has been tested “extensively” and found no safety problems. “Consequently, Lufthansa received the required certification from the responsible air traffic authorities,” Lufthansa told news wire services. The FlyNet online connection lets passengers share a download capability of five megabits per second, while uploading traffic, such as sending emails, will run at one Mbps.
Although passengers seem eager to pay for onflight Wi-Fi services, there are some land locked Wi-Fi services which let browser based advertising fund the connection charges. FreeFi Networks is launching the first large scale advertising network targeted to the growing Wi-Fi audience. FreeFi displays a persistent set of ads adjacent to the user’s browser without use of invasive advertising software or pop-up ads.
Lawrence Laffer, President of FreeFi Networks says “the difficulty with the Hotspot business until now has been the fundamental model for paid Wi-Fi. Users aren’t willing to pay for what amounts to a second Internet service provider just to get their Wi-Fi fix outside of the home. We think that the FreeFi ad model can provide significant revenue to Hotspot providers while still providing an excellent user experience.”